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I Dream of Trains
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I Dream of Trains

by
3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Papa says

it's the sound of leaving

that speaks to my soul...

The poignant words of two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and striking images from fine artist Loren Long join forces in this heartbreaking yet uplifting picture book about a boy, his love for trains, and his adulation of one legendary engineer.

It's the story of a hero lost and a h

...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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The Little Engine That Could by Watty PiperThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgFreight Train by Donald CrewsThe Little Red Caboose by Marian PotterTrains by Byron Barton
Picture Books about Trains
84th out of 109 books — 44 voters
Otis by Loren LongAngela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourtMy Dog, My Hero by Betsy ByarsThe Wonders of Donal O'Donnell by Gary D. SchmidtThe Day the Animals Came by Frances Ward Weller
Best of Loren Long
6th out of 14 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 165)
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Christine Turner
Subject:
Railroad stories
Cotton picking -- Juvenile fiction.
Fathers and sons -- Juvenile fiction

Summary
Papa says it's the sound of leaving that speaks to my soul... The poignant words of two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and striking images from fine artist Loren Long join forces in this heartbreaking yet uplifting picture book about a boy, his love for trains, and his adulation of one legendary engineer. It's the story of a hero lost and a hero discovered, of a drea
...more
Haileymurrayrocketmail.com
This is one of my favorite picture books for elementary school. Not only are the themes strong and moving, the illustrations beautiful, and the story important, the word choice and structure of the authors prose takes my breath away. As a percussionist the rhythm of this writing that matches the movement and sounds of the train is so powerful. The author crafts the theme of hope from many different angles and through the metaphor of movement. Like the sound of a train that keeps chug-chug-chug f ...more
8feetahead
This is a heavy story for young children. I loved the lyrical prose and rich imagery. I recommend reading the historical notes at the back of the book first. The book itself focuses on a young sharecropper who's dreams rise and fall and ultimately rise again as he works the fields and dreams of what it would be like to ride Cannonball, a train driven by the legendary Casey Jones.

This would be a good book for covering a bit of African American history and the Great Migration. Parents should read
...more
Gregory Rothbard
A great retelling of Casey Jones the mighty engineer... and the art was also wonderful. It set my mind in the space being told.
Cheryl
Gorgeous pictures and a story about a train trip and picking cotton
Julie Suzanne
Nov 23, 2009 Julie Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Julie by: Can't remember!
This breathtakingly illustrated picture book taught me a new reading strategy; read the "About this book" on the last page FIRST. I had no idea what this book was about, NO IDEA. But I loved its poetic imagery anyway. Now that I know (having read the last page), I liked it even more the second time.

This is about the Great Migration & John Luther "Casey" Jones's possible impact on it.

I'd recommend this to:
African American children and/or students studying the Great Migration period of US hi
...more
Gail Barge
This is a very heavy book that I would only use with older students. Also, unless you read the "About the Book" note at the end you will be very lost, as I was! It's a good story to study sharecroppers and the way they were oppressed even after they were granted freedom from slavery. This could lend itself to a study of the Great Migration and why a train may have been meaningful for African Americans attempting to escape the oppression of the South.
Lillian Mui
In this historical fiction book, the child of a slave or a sharecropper, is envisioning being whisked away from reality by Casey Jones' train. It combines his desires with the learning about Casey Jones and his death. It teaches reaching for a goal even though the current circumstances seem hopeless. The illustrations are beautiful (pastel) and makes the story come alive.
Chak
Jan 23, 2009 Chak rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: kid
If you child is afraid of storms, lightning, and horrific, twisted metal train crashes that KILL PEOPLE, well, maybe you should leave this book out of heavy rotation for the kids, even if you do want to teach your kids about the backbreaking labor inherent in cotton-picking. There must be a better way.
Westerville
Pairing of a stellar writer (Angela Johnson) and stellar illustrator (Loren Long) for an evocative, tear-inducing story. - Becky, Teen Librarian

Reserve a library copy!
Katie Heginbotham
I Dream of Trains is beautifully written and illustrated. It tells the story of a sharecropper stuck on a farm who dreams of one day traveling on a train. This book would be good as part of a history lesson on sharecropping or the great migration.
Lindsay
train, imagining, story of John Luther "Casey" Jones who was born in Missouri and became a train engineer - story of his engine crash on April 30, 1900 outside of Vaughan, MIssissippi

not good for young kids
Cristina
I would say best for 1-3rd graders because of the subject matter. As another reviewer said, start by reading the historical background (end pages of the book) first. Beautiful illustrations, poetic prose.
Mohammad
I personally like the book (especially how it was based on a true story). However he found it sad... and told me he does not like it! hahaha... He loves trains... just not sad stories...
Jen
painted illustrations in typical Loren Long style. nice story that could tie in with a history theme, a slavery theme, or a traveling theme.
Elizabeth S
Not so much a book about trains, but a book about sharecroppers and the dreams they attached to Casey Jones and his fireman.
Rebecca
Pairing of a stellar writer (Angela Johnson) and stellar illustrator (Loren Long) for an evocative, tear-inducing story.
Teri
Jan 20, 2013 Teri rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: trains
Touches on the story of Casey Jones, but doesn't portray a really coherent story. Nice illustrations though.
Laura
He seems to like it more than I did. He enjoys listening to it on tape before his nap.
Matthew
A great story of Casey Jones, who I didn't know the back story on before this.
Kade
I loved the artwork in this book. I did not really enjoy the story.
Natasha Osborne
wonderful writing and beautiful illustrations.
Judy
Judy added it
Mar 20, 2015
Chase Adam
Chase Adam marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2015
Dezirae
Dezirae marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
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